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HISTRELIN (Systemic)

Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S.—

  • Vantas

Not commercially available in Canada.


  • Antineoplastic


Histrelin (his-TREL-in) is a type of medicine called a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist that lowers the male hormone testosterone in your blood. Testosterone makes most prostate cancers grow. The histrelin implant is a drug-delivery system that contains the medicine histrelin and is placed under the skin. After it is placed under the skin it releases histrelin to the body continuously for 12 months. Histrelin is not a cure for prostate cancer but it may help to relieve the symptoms of prostate cancer.

This medicine is available only with your doctor"s prescription, in the following dosage forms:

  • Parenteral
  • Implant (U.S.)

Before Using This Medicine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of using the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For histrelin, the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to GnRH, GnRH agonist analogs or to histrelin or any of its ingredients. Also tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy—Histrelin is not for use in women.

Children—Histrelin is not for use in children.

Older adults—This medicine has been tested and has not been shown to cause different side effects or other problems in older people than it does in younger adults.

Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your health care professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of histrelin. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Nerve problems caused by bone lesions in spine or
  • Problems in passing urine—Conditions may get worse for a short time after histrelin treatment is started

Proper Use of This Medicine

Histrelin comes with patient instructions. Read these instructions carefully .

Do not remove the pressure bandage or wet the inserted arm for 24 hours after insertion of the implant.

Refrain from heavy lifting and strenuous physical activity of the inserted arm for 7 days to allow the incision to fully close.

Do not remove the surgical strips, rather allow them to fall off on there own after several days.

Dosing—Histrelin is placed under the skin of the inside of your upper arm. After it is placed under the skin it will give your body histrelin for 12 months.

  • For 12-month implant dosage form :
    • For prostate cancer
      • Adults—one implant every 12 months.

Missed dose—If you are using this medicine every 12 months and you miss a dose, receive it as soon as possible, and go back to your regular dosing schedule.

Storage—To store this medicine:

  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Store away from heat and direct light.
  • Keep the medicine from freezing.

Precautions While Using This Medicine

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to ensure histrelin implant is in place and functioning in your body.

This medicine may cause loss in bone mineral density with extended treatment. Loss in bone mineral density can lead to the thinning of bones (osteoporosis). If you have any questions about this ask your doctor.

Side Effects of This Medicine

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:


Bloody urine; decreased frequency or amount of urine; increased blood pressure; increased thirst; loss of appetite; lower back or side pain; nausea; swelling of face, fingers, lower legs; troubled breathing; unusual tiredness or weakness; vomiting; weight gain

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome.

More Common

Decrease in testicle size; feeling of warmth; local infection, irritation, redness or swelling to skin ; redness of the face, neck, arms and occasionally, upper chest; sudden sweating

Less common

Decreased interest in sexual intercourse; difficulty having a bowel movement (stool); flushing, redness of skin; headache; inability to have or keep an erection; loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance; sleeplessness; trouble sleeping; swelling of the breasts or breast soreness in both females and males; unable to sleep; unusually warm skin


Redness feeling of heat; swelling

Reported during clinical trials

Abnormal ejaculation; appetite increased; bone pain; breast pain; breast tenderness; burning while urinating; collection of blood under skin; confusion; dark urine; deep, dark purple bruise; difficulty in moving; difficult or painful urination; discouragement; dizziness; dry mouth; dullness; extra heart beat; fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse; feeling cold; feeling sad or empty; feeling of sluggishness; fever with or without chills; food craving; general feeling of discomfort or illness; incoherent speech; increased hair growth on forehead, back, arms, and legs; increased need to urinate; irritability; itching, pain, redness, or swelling; itching or pain of the genital area; joint pain; large amount of cholesterol in the blood; large, flat, blue or purplish patches in the skin; light-colored stools; loss of interest or pleasure; metallic taste; muscle weakness; muscle aching or cramping; muscle pain or stiffness; muscle twitching; neck pain; night sweats; noisy, rattling breathing; pain; pain in limb; pain or burning while urinating; pale skin; shakiness in legs, arms, hands, feet; shortness of breath; stent occlusion; stomach pain; stomach soreness or discomfort; sweating increased; swollen joint; tightness in chest; tingling of hands or feet; trembling or shaking of hands or feet; trouble concentrating; trouble sleeping; unusual bleeding or bruising; unusual drowsiness; unusual weight loss; wheezing; yellow eyes or skin

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

Developed: 11/29/2005

The information contained in the Thomson Healthcare (Micromedex) products as delivered by is intended as an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatment. It is not a substitute for a medical exam, nor does it replace the need for services provided by medical professionals. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before taking any prescription or over the counter drugs (including any herbal medicines or supplements) or following any treatment or regimen. Only your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for you.

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Where can I get more information about Vantas ? We recommend to use

Typical mistypes for Vantas
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